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September 19, 2006

Time for Wine

Filed under: Food & Drink by Bill @ 10:40 pm

Although not officially over yet, for all practical purposes summer is history.

The cool evenings hint at the coming seasons of frost and festivities and I find my thoughts turning from boat and beach to heart and hearth. Even my taste buds have noticed the changing season as I find less beer and more wine on my table.

As if to pry free my one last finger of a grip on summer, Ginny Clancy of the Stony Brook University Center for Wine, Food and Culture sent me her Fall schedule of Long Island food and wine classes.

These are excellent classes and I highly recommend them for anyone interested in Long Island wine, food and Long Island’s regional cuisine.

At $55 ($45 for two or more people, $40 for three or more classes) they are the most reasonably priced wine tasting classes you’ll find anywhere on Long Island.

Classes I’ve attended:

First class starts October 5th. Register early because they fill up fast!

September 15, 2006

Trump by the Ocean

Filed under: Rant,Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 10:33 pm

It was reported in yesterday’s Newsday that Donald Trump and Steve Carl (of Carlyle on the Green in Bethpage) will be opening a new restaurant at Jones Beach to replace the old Boardwalk Restaurant which closed down years ago and was recently demolished.

Donald Trump on Long Island? I’m not sure I like the idea…


Anything built by Trump is top notch. This won’t be a half-baked sham or under funded project.

Plans call for a 36,000-square-foot facility on 6 acres, which could handle groups up to 1,400 people. In addition to the restaurant the three story building will also house a nightclub.

According to Mr. Trump, “When it’s finished, there will be nothing like it anywhere in the world.” Of course…

The facility will be open year round and includes an outdoor dining facility for beachgoers.


Probably not too much in the con section. Anything is better than what was there.

My only concern is that the facility will be “marketed towards an affluent clientele,” not the everyday guy like you and me. According to Trump and Carl however, it will be accessible to “those who aren’t Rockefellers.”

Is it just me or does that not sound encouraging?

Jones Beach was built for the masses and I think that tradition should be observed. To plop down a haven for the affluent in the middle of it seems just plain wrong.

Most Long Islanders work pretty darn hard for a living and places like Jones Beach offer a great escape from the week’s BS. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want when I’m relaxing is a reminder of how not rich I am.

Well, the place isn’t even built yet so maybe I’m overreacting. We’ll see.

Back on the Pro side, Donald Trump is against the LIPA proposed wind farm. Good man, Donald! Although he’s against it purely for aesthetic reasons I’m still glad he’s against it.


In my opinion the wind farm is a bad idea. It’s going to cost us a fortune to build and is not going to save us ratepayers a single cent.

Not only will it ruin the view all along Long Island’s south shore, but you’ll hear it as well. That’s right, the windmills make noise.

For a preview of how bad this is going to look check out these pictures on the LIPA Offshore Wind Park website. Click on each link below and when the picture opens scroll back and forth a dramatic panoramic view.

Jones Beach | Cedar Beach | Gilgo Beach | Robert Moses

Then read this eye opening article opposing the LIPA Wind Farm by Long Island resident, Richard Moore.

(Note: the links non longer work, so they were removed)

Construction of Trump by the Ocean is scheduled to start this year with a completion date sometime in 2008.

Regardless of the targeted clientele, this project is a much needed improvement to Jones Beach. I just hope it’s not so pricey we can’t even afford an anniversary or birthday dinner.

September 12, 2006

Sustaining the Good Life: A Symposium, Celebration, and Tour

Filed under: Sustainable Long Island by Bill @ 10:30 pm

Stony Brook University’s Center for Wine, Food, and Culture will host a weekend symposium, Sustaining The Good Life, on September 16 and 17 in Chancellor’s Hall at Stony Brook Southampton (formerly Southampton College).

Over 200 East End residents and weekend visitors are expected to attend the event, which will highlight the University’s planned curriculum focusing on sustainability: meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The event runs from 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 16 and 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 17.

Long Island wine industry pioneer and Center Director Louisa Hargrave [author of The Vineyard] will preside over the two-day program.

Saturday morning will feature excursions aboard the University’s Marine Sciences Research Center’s vessels and hands-on discovery activities with Stony Brook marine scientists.

After a picnic lunch and welcome from Stony Brook President Shirley Strum Kenny, the legendary environmentalist and author Peter Matthiessen [author of Men’s Lives] will give a keynote address titled Greed and Heritage.

Following the keynote address, regional farmers, fishermen, chefs, designers, educators, and preservationists will address East End sustainability issues in a series of panel discussions:

What Have We Got To Lose? The Resources that Make Life Good

What Role Do Education, Politics, And Culture Play? Taking Care of the Next Generation

How Can We Plan For The Future? A Visionary Prescription.

The day concludes with a Harvest Reception, a walkabout tasting hosted by 16 leading East End wineries and restaurants and accompanied by music provided by a Stony Brook University String Ensemble.

On Sunday afternoon, selected artisanal producers, farms, and wineries on the North and South Forks will participate in an exclusive tour, with special tastings for symposium participants.

Admission is open to the general public.

Saturday: Entire Day’s Activities: $75 per person (includes Harvest Reception)
Harvest Reception Only:
$45 per person
East End Tour Only: $35 per person
Full Weekend Package includes both days at $100.00 per person.

Registration and payment are required for attendance.

Registered participants will be sent colored wristbands as proof of payment. Please register as early as possible, as space is limited, and note that the Center has a 48 hour pre-event cancellation policy.

Read more about Stony Brook University’s Center for Wine, Food, and Culture.

September 7, 2006

Sunrise and Moonset Over the Great South Bay

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 10:24 pm

A friend of mine is planning his retirement. He’s looking at places in the Midwest. Ugh. I could never live so far from the ocean. I need the smell of the salt air, fresh fish, a place to sail my boat, and the sound of crashing surf.

I guess living on Long Island has spoiled me. I’ve spent my entire life on the water and I still can’t get enough of it. Take me away from the coast and I feel somewhat less than whole.

On my way to work this morning I noticed a beautiful full moon setting over Main Street. Six and a half minutes later I was on the shore of the Great South Bay taking pictures of it, and the rising sun.

Both of these pictures were taken at the same time.

The first picture is of the moon setting and was taken looking West towards Robert Moses Causeway.

The second picture was taken looking East towards Heckscher State Park.

It’s scenes like this that keep me in love with Long Island.

Moon setting

Looking West at 5:55am. The full moon sets over Long Island's Great South Bay. The barely visible lights are the Robert Moses Causeway leading to Fire Island.


An early morning glow envelopes Heckscher State Park while the Great South Bay, flat as a mirror, reflects lights at the East Islip Marina launching ramp.

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